Garbage Exchanged for Feathers

As a preteen, the annual fundraiser for our Pathfinder club was a garbathon. Even before the snow completely melted we began collecting pledges to pick up garbage along a four-mile stretch of road that connected our communities. Besides learning a lesson in hard work, you can be sure that not one of us ever threw a piece of trash out of a window ever again!

The schoolyard conversations following garbathon day were such as “Can you believe it? I saw an empty pop can and chip bag by the bridge on the way to school.” this was said with great disgust of whoever it was that carelessly tossed it there. Forever after my eyes were drawn to the ditches. When others were looking at the mountains that drew the tourists there, I was seeing garbage.

Nearly forty years later my eyes are focused again but this time not on someone’s discarded trash. What I now see are feathers. Yes, soft little fluff, and crisp long quills in an assortment of colors. At first, I brought them home and saved them but then my art room was becoming overrun with feathers. Some may suggest they were left by my angel, however, I do not believe it to be that at all. No, it is simply being aware. Once you start focusing on something your eyes are trained to find more. Now nearly every time I step outside I find feathers.

During a recent walk, while carrying a handful of quills, I pondered this. How many “feathers,” or you could say blessings, have I overlooked while focusing on “garbage,” the trials, the hurt, and the bad. There is always something to be thankful for! God, please train my eyes to pass by the “garbage” and begin looking for “feathers.”

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4 thoughts on “Garbage Exchanged for Feathers”

  1. What beautiful insight! I adore birds of all kinds and this spring, have been observing a family of robins who have a nest under the eves of my front porch. The babies look as though they may fledge very soon. What a blessing watching them grow as the babies peek over the edge of the nest. I collect feathers and made a bird themed Bible journal which is dear to my heart. Thank you for sharing your lovely art work and inspiration with us.

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